'Both Sides Now:' Angela Kueny presents Paideia lecture on Amish tradition of forgiveness

Angela Kueny, Luther assistant professor of nursing, will present the Paideia Text and Issues lecture, "Both Sides Now: Considering Forgiveness in Religious and Communal Old Order Amish Traditions," at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on the Luther campus.

The lecture will be followed by a reception in Qualley Lounge; both are open to the public with no charge for admission.

The word "Amish" brings a certain set of images – consistent dress, avoidance of modern technologies such as cars, phones and computers, living an agrarian life far removed from the reach of the modern world.

According to Kueny, Amish people have great depth to their character and society. Forgiveness of others, a concept that still eludes many non-Amish, is an essential part of their society and spirituality as well.

This tradition of forgiveness has been seen in recent years at a schoolhouse shooting during which five Amish children were killed and five more were injured. In response, the nation was advised not to feel anger but to unconditionally forgive the shooter. The Amish took this to heart so readily that they even offered support to the family of the man who had killed himself after shooting the children in their school.

Kueny will discuss how this level of interconnectivity is possible within a community without mass media. In describing the formal and informal avenues Amish men and women use to reach out to their community, Kueny hopes to impart to her audience the importance interpersonal relationships in shaping the hearts and minds of a people.

Kueny has served as a nurse in various locations, including the University of Iowa Children's Hospital in Iowa City where she was motivated to study the relationship between patients cultural backgrounds and their healthcare experiences. It was also there that she began her work with the Amish community.

Inspired by the chasm that exists between community and cultural worldviews, and the biomedical worldview, Kueny pursued a doctoral degree in nursing. Her dissertation focused on how Old Order Amish families navigate the biomedical health care system when making decisions for children with chronic illnesses.

Kueny hold a bachelor's degree in nursing from Luther and Master of Science and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Iowa.